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An elementary aged boy looks kindly at his small group leader.
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Elementary Children’s Object Lesson for the New Year: Goal Tenders

This New Year object lesson shows elementary-aged children that discovering God’s plan for our lives takes persistence and dedication to His teachings.

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14

Elementary Children’s Object Lesson for the New Year: Goal Tenders

Form trios and give each group an empty bowl and a handful of buttons.

Say: January 1 is the first day of the new year. On New Year’s Day, many people set goals they’d like to achieve in the coming year. Hold up an empty bowl. This bowl reminds me of an empty new year, ready to be filled with new experiences, activities, and people. Let’s pretend your buttons represent all those fun things.


Your goal is to toss your buttons into the empty bowl from three feet away. After two minutes, collect the bowls.

Ask: Were you able to achieve your goal and pop a button into the bowl each time?

Say: In life, sometimes you have to try several times to achieve your goals. But God gives us each a special goal to strive for every day, week, month, and year. Listen to what that goal is. Read Philippians 3:12-14. Our goal is to grow closer to Jesus. We can’t achieve that in one year–but we can become closer friends with Jesus for the rest of our lives. We keep striving toward the goal.

Place a bowl in the middle of the group.

As we close, toss a button into this bowl. When you do, think of one way you can grow closer to Jesus. Maybe you’ll think of reading your Bible, praying, singing songs to God, or showing love and kindness to others. Remember to strive for that goal every day, week, month, and year.

Looking for more ideas for the new year? Check out these posts! And for even more ideas and daily posts of inspiration, follow us on Facebook!


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